Causes of Short-Term Readmission After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

lighthouse-2014-64x64Jason H. Wasfy, Jordan B. Strom, Cashel O’Brien, Adrian H. Zai, Jennifer Luttrell, Kevin F., Kennedy, John A. Spertus, Katya Zelevinsky, Sharon-Lise T. Normand, Laura Mauri and Robert W. Yeh
Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions. 2014; 7: 97-103; originally published online January 14, 2014; doi: 10.1161/​CIRCINTERVENTIONS.113.000988.

Correspondence to Robert W. Yeh, MD, MSc, Cardiology Division, GRB 8–843, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail

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Rehospitalization within 30 days after an admission for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is common, costly, and a future target for Medicare penalties. Causes of readmission after PCI are largely unknown.

Methods and Results

To illuminate the causes of PCI readmissions, patients with PCI readmitted within 30 days of discharge between 2007 and 2011 at 2 hospitals were identified, and their medical records were reviewed. Of 9288 PCIs, 9081 (97.8%) were alive at the end of the index hospitalization. Of these, 893 patients (9.8%) were readmitted within 30 days of discharge and included in the analysis. Among readmitted patients, 341 patients (38.1%) were readmitted for evaluation of recurrent chest pain or other symptoms concerning for angina, whereas 59 patients (6.6%) were readmitted for staged PCI without new symptoms. Complications of PCI accounted for 60 readmissions (6.7%). For cases in which chest pain or other symptoms concerning for angina prompted the readmission, 21 patients (6.2%) met criteria for myocardial infarction, and repeat PCI was performed in 54 patients (15.8%). The majority of chest pain patients (288; 84.4%) underwent ≥1 diagnostic imaging test, most commonly coronary angiography, and only 9 (2.6%) underwent target lesion revascularization.


After PCI, readmissions within 30 days were seldom related to PCI complications but often for recurrent chest pain. Readmissions with recurrent chest pain infrequently met criteria for myocardial infarction but were associated with high rates of diagnostic testing.